Huge DPC Spikes in Windows 1903 beware

Just tried to Update to 1903 and for now it seems to not be suitable for audio work as there are regular DPC spikes caused by ntoskrln.exe and wdf01000.sys
As far as i researched i am not the only one and there is nothing you can do at the moment.
I tried updating everything including drivers and chipsets, trying powerchemes etc.
the prior windows version worked though.
I am on a Asus Zenith X399 AMD Threadripper 1950x.

I´ll let you know if i figure something out. in the meantime it would be cool if other users could try the latencymon app for about half an hour to see if it happens for them too. This way we could hiopefully narrow it down.

Update : Someone on the Gearslutz Forum has mentioned that the Spikes don’t exist in the insider build 1909, as soon as he went back to 1903 they reappeared.

Update 2: Some are suggesting, that Latency mon itself might give false alarms and there is another reason for nasty spikes.
Yesterday i tested recording long takes using a dew plugins also nad had no VST Performance spikes or dropouts. Still worrying to know that something weird is going on.

For now i heard of people with Intel and AMD nad also NVIDIA and ATI being affected.

Let me guess, you manually installed? No wonder it’s giving you problems.

You mean windows 10 1903 or ?

yes, i was talking about 1903.

I’m sure you know that 1903 is not yet supported by Steinberg and while your experiment provides interesting information for other users, for clarity and the benefit of others, the “Windows 10: Steinberg Software Compatibility” chart is here.

At the time of writing, the chart lists only up to 1809 as compatible for Cubase 10.

1903 working like a dream here

1903 working here too!

DPC spikes are very hardware specific. Is it possible that the OP is suddenly experiencing DPC spikes when there weren’t any before following the update? I’d say yeah, sounds completely plausible. The cause of that though is likely more to do with a particular driver not liking the new update.

The OP could try: disable device, restart PC, measure DPC latency, and repeat until he finds the device in question. That won’t work for everything, but could help find the hardware causing the spikes. The alternative could be to start rolling back or updating drivers until a combination that works is found.

This isn’t a widespread issue though.

I read through several forums and i am not the only one as i said. It`s very likely that this is a windows problem. Just wanted you to know.
It would be great if someone could share their results with latency monitor in Windows 10 1903.

Also this is not about Steinberg supporting it or not.
Remember that the first 3 Years of Windows 10 all had DPC Spikes because of a known and well documented Windows Issue and still it was supposedly fully supported.
Latencymon works without Cubase even installed and tells you if your system is basically capable for audio work.

1903 working fine here and latencymon is fine too

as others have said it’s 99% because of your specific hardware configuration. trouble shooting steps have already been given - It would seem like a good idea to follow them as you seem to be the only one on this thread so far that is having problems.

Here are a few other Threads where the topic is discussed:

https://www.tenforums.com/performance-maintenance/133708-v1903-causing-dpc-latency-hits.html#post1643832

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/1120890/win10-ver-1903-ntoskrnl-exe-large-latency-spikes-/?offset=9

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/1021989-windows-10-rolling-out-share-your-experiences-here-235.html (scroll down a little, even pete from MS mentions it)

Also here :
https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/bu34xv/update_1903_high_dpc_latency_issues/

It is happening on many different Chipsets including AMD and Intel and also different GPUs. i also tried all powerschemes like Ultimate and Ryzen balanced, also Steinbergs scheme. I had no problems with all prior windows versions on my system. I also tried updating everything like Chipset drivers, NVIDIA drivers etc. Its the ntoskrnl.exe wich causes this (could mean anything). There might be a high chance that this is caused by a new method of spectre and meltdown prevention that is new to windows 1903. Just trying to narrow it down and collect information about those who have the issue and those who don`t.

I am not asking anyone to fix my problem. I actually know quite well how to troubleshoot those things.
I m just here to help figure out the cause and help find a fix for everyone that might be affected. Ill also pretend that many users might not notice DPC spikes directly when they only happen occasionally, like back then with the first few iterations of W10.
I do notice them and i can assure you many others are too. It depends on how your workflow is structured. This time even gamers are affected.

I`ll update the first post if i figure something out. I just thought it might be important for many to know that it is not yet save to update to 1903. Especially since many are eager to try it because of the FLS slot fix (upgrade) and other potential benefits for audio.

Btw, my older intel based workstation that i used for 10 years has the same symptoms with w10 1903

Best regards

Everythings working fine here after the update
The system seems slightly snappier with 1903

here are the before and after dpc checks.


I’m curious as to which of those with 1903 had it come through naturally through windows update?

On my home System the upgrade came in the “Windows update” menu. On the Studio System I used the update Assistent.
Did some further testing today, mainly recording, everythings running fine.

Thanks for letting us know, I’ll hold off on updating windows 10

My update was through downloading from the MS website if that makes a difference. Its working well and no FLS limit which is the main draw to update !

Pete merely asks for information, he doesn’t acknowledge there is an issue.

I acknowledge that you and others have put a lot of time into trying to understand what is going on. The answer is ‘something’, but it might not be Windows 10 1903.


It might be that the root cause is nothing to do with Windows 10 1903 and is to do with the patches for the Microarchitectural Data Sampling vulnerabilities, a new family of side channel vulnerabilities in a similar vein to Spectre and Meltdown. All supported versions of Windows 10 got these patches on the May 2019 ‘Patch Tuesday’ - so it is possible 1809 or 1803 would show the same behaviour on affected hardware, but users didn’t notice because they didn’t run latency tests between that Patch Tuesday and general availability of Windows 10 1903 a week later.

More information is available in Microsoft Security Advisory ADV190013.


Have you tested any affected hardware with Windows 10 1809 plus the May 2019 cumulative patch?